How to write effective Google Ads

Advertising Online

Time to complete:

6 min

Are you considering making online ads part of your marketing strategy? Google Ads Smart campaigns make it easy to get your ads up and running.

Part of setting up your campaign is deciding what to say in your ads — and we’re here to help. Choosing the right words, using the right tone, and sharing the right information can feel intimidating if you’re just getting started. Fortunately, Smart campaigns take much of the guesswork out of writing great ads.

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to write your ad copy, and how to make the most of your online ads so they perform well and reach the right audiences.

With Google Ads Smart campaigns, you’ll only need to write three headlines and two descriptions for each ad.

Writing headlines and descriptions for your ads

In this video, we’ll provide tips for writing great ads. Learn more.

When you use Smart campaigns for your online ads, there are two types of “copy” — or text sections — you’ll need to write: headlines and descriptions. These sections will appear together in your ad when someone searches for your business or for products and services like yours.

Writing catchy headlines

The first thing you’ll write are headlines. You’ll need to write three headlines for each ad, which will appear together at the top of your ad, above the link to your website.

Headlines are designed to be short, punchy, and to catch the attention of your potential customers. They should entice your audience and convince them to read the rest of your ad. But be brief: You have a limited number of characters for each headline (30 characters).

Your three headlines should work together, building on each other to say something about what your customers are searching for (without repeating themselves). For example, if your small business sells sunglasses, your three headlines might say:

  1. “Sunglasses For Sale”

  2. “Find Your Perfect Frames”

  3. “Shop Our Collection!”

These three headlines work well because they clearly explain what you’re selling, while also encouraging potential customers to come explore your website.

Pro tip: It’s important to differentiate your headlines so they don’t repeat content, for example you would want to avoid using something like 1. “Cool sunglasses for sale” 2. “Stylish sunglasses for sale” 3. “Shop our stylish sunglasses.” Also, capitalizing the first letter of every word has proven to drive stronger results.

Writing great descriptions

Next, you’ll write two descriptions. You only have to write two descriptions for each ad to run below your headlines. Descriptions give you the chance to really show off what makes your small business special.

Like headlines, descriptions have a character limit though they’re longer than headlines (90 characters), so you have more room to be creative when talking about your business. Here are three examples of descriptions you might use if you’re selling sunglasses:

  1. “Our unique wooden sunglasses are designed and crafted right here in Los Angeles.”

  2. “Over 50 styles to choose from, plus free shipping and returns on all orders.”

  3. “Shop our Holiday Sale to find special discounts on our most popular styles.”

These are great descriptions because they not only show your audience what’s different about your business and products, but they also give customers an incentive to shop with you. And they play off of the headlines above, too.

Things to consider when writing headlines and descriptions

When writing your headlines and descriptions, here are some helpful questions to consider:

    • What are you offering your customers? Don’t overthink it. If you’re selling sunglasses, make sure to state that clearly.

    • What problem are you solving for your customers? “Get your new look for summer” or “Show off your personality” help potential customers understand the value of your products.

    • Why should someone shop with you right now? If you’re having a holiday sale or have limited-time offers, let your audience know, so they can take advantage of these specials.

    • What makes your product or service unique? Customers may want to know if your business is veteran-owned or only uses organic materials. Share that information.

    • Why should someone choose your business over your competitors? Customers have lots of options. Telling them that you’re rated highest in customer satisfaction or that you offer risk-free returns for 30 days can help convince them to shop with you.

    • What special incentives do you offer? Free shipping, special discounts for return shoppers, curbside pick-up, and similar incentives can make your business more attractive to shoppers.

Pro tip: Be sure to double-check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation for both your headlines and descriptions. You want your business to look polished and professional — plus, ads with mistakes may be rejected by Google’s system.

Smart campaigns eliminate the guesswork

Not sure what copy will work the best? No problem!

Google Ads Smart campaigns will automatically rotate versions of your different ads, measuring their performance and results. As the system learns which ads perform the best, it will show those more often — giving you the best possible results.

So be sure to write lots of ads! Get creative, try different things. Smart campaigns will do the hard work for you by determining which ads are working the best and which copy is resonating most with your audience.

Online advertising is a powerful way to help your small business reach more people and share your story with the perfect audience.

And by following these tips, you’ll be ready to start writing great ads that entice new customers, highlight your brand, and get major results.


6 questions to consider as you write your ads

As you write your headlines and descriptions for Google Ads Smart campaigns, think about what you want potential customers to know about your business.

  • What are you offering your customers?

  • What problem are you solving for your customers?

  • Why should someone shop with you right now?

  • What makes your product or service unique?

  • Why should someone choose your business over your competitors?

  • What special incentives do you offer?